Everyday life is determined almost everywhere by hustle and bustle, leaving neither time nor leisure to see and esteem the real values and beauties of life. The richness of life is inexhaustible, though, and reveals itself often in trivialities or in perceptions regarded as familiar or common. This also holds true for how Livio Ceschin depicts Nature. Indescribable stillness is lying over the landscape that is captivated on the engraver`s plate in its finest subtleties with an artistic mastery reminding us of Rembrandt, Tiepolo and Canaletto and which spurs our yearning for the Unspoiled.
It is impossible to unfold these landscapes in passing. One needs to be ready to enter the solitude and quiet they evoke, as only by doing so they will reveal their true character of natural philosophy. Hardly penetrable woods, marshy lagoons, riversides with split and weathered boats, views of abandoned grounds overgrown by plants, single groups of trees in remote areas, bridges covered with snow in frozen winter lands. These are isolated regions, hardly touched by urbanization. The evidence of human existence, interwoven with them, has long been reabsorbed by Nature and has been covered by a veil of oblivion. This makes your urge even stronger to dive into this world and look for the traces of the past.
Mysterious and mystical seem to be the Old Passageways of the homonymous etching from 1999. A passageway with worn-out, trodden paving stones leads to a rotten staircase which again leads to a fictitious property framed by an old wall. The path has not been walked upon by anyone for a long time. Rotting foliage, overgrowing grass and breaking stones block the entry. Persistently, the climbers have taken possession of the walls and have become part of their decay.
Even the old, gnarled tree, which rules over the estate like a monstrous guard and whose branches partially bar the way, has grown into and has been interwoven with the former walls. With a chiaroscuro contrast hardly to be surpassed, between the foliage on the right side of the wall and the brightly illuminated area above the staircase appearing to dissolve, the view is suggestively torn into the depth. What secret may be hidden by the abandoned estate? Livio Ceschin`s extreme precision and his love for detail, with which he wields the dry-point, bringing to life a mere metal plate, will only be perceived by the sensitive, attentive observer.
Like in this work, the main motif hardly ever fills the entire sheet. Instead, it seems to dissolve towards the edges or towards the ground. In fact, it seems to meld with the ground of the sheet. The spaces resulting from it are used by Livio Ceschin not only to enhance and accentuate the effect of the images, but also to lay semi-transparent lines at irregular intervals over the edges, thus creating another layer of reality and heaving the actual motif into another context. Another means of style all of his own is the integration of fragmentary words and phrases, recalling in their calligraphy the 19th century, which add another poetic, almost a lyrical dimension to what is being depicted on the scene. Therefore, the solitary and deserted landscapes almost appear to be a mirror of the memories of a time in which man was still present and in which he left his mark on Nature which now lies down onto the past with all its unspoiled power and beauty, in reconciliatory style.